The National Initiative to Create Employment (NICE) continues to provide employment opportunities in the agricultural sector.
The Farm Labour Support Program is a collaborative initiative of NICE; the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Production, Fisheries and Rural Development; and the National Skills Development Centre (NSDC).
The program is designed to stimulate the agricultural sector through the use of specially trained and skilled personnel to work on dormant, inactive, or underdeveloped farms as well as farms that have been forced to close within the past six months or more.
A supervisor in the Farm Labour Support Program, Kishma Louis, gave an account of her role under the initiative.
“The role as a supervisor is to ensure that effective communication takes place between the workers and the farmers, and to ensure effective time keeping, because we pay our workers based on a time schedule. They work eight hours a day like every normal government worker and to ensure the smooth transition from one farm to another. “
The criteria for the selection of farm labour support worker include, having basic reading and writing skills, being between the ages of 16 to 45 and having an interest in farming, agriculture or related field.
“NSDC was the one in charge of selecting and screening and training the farm workers. They have their own database and also NICE contains a database. So they went through both their databases, called these individuals in, did a few counselling sessions with them and then a main group was selected. Further on more training were done and the group got smaller and smaller until we had the selected group currently.”
Training under the farm labour support program includes education in agricultural entrepreneurship and food security.